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The local magazine containing useful information for parents of 0-12 year olds




Bringing books to life At The New Wolsey Theatre

Family Advice: When should you leave your child home alone Suffolk Fab40 Adventures: Winter ISSUE 33 • January / February 2017



/FamiliesSuffolk /FamiliesSuffolk

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Welcome Happy New Year

A very warm welcome to the first issue of 2017. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families, and have now recovered from the New Year celebrations! This issue has a huge variety of articles for you to enjoy from financial advice about budgeting and borrowing to family advice about leaving your children home alone! We also have to thank The New Wolsey Theatre for the fantastic cover image. Monstersaurus is just one of the great line up of shows over the next few months, Lisa and I can’t wait to take our own little monsters to see it. As always if you enjoy what you read in our magazine, there is plenty more available online, please visit: Best Wishes

Stacey Phillips

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Highly Qualified & friendly Staff Team, Brand New Internal area and Large dedicated outdoor space

Open 8am—6pm Mon—Fri , 50 weeks of the year Call 01473 725454 E:

Our Community

4 Baby & Toddler 5 Family Finance 6 Family Advice 7 Public Health 8 RSPB Birdwatch 9 Suffolk Fab40 Adventures 10-11 Clubs & Classes 13 Ipswich Borough Council 14 Parents Place 15 Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service Next issue: March / April 2017 Circulation: 17,000 copies of Families Suffolk are available through nurseries, schools, libraries, selected retail outlets and various other distribution points throughout Suffolk. If you would like copies for your organisation please contact us.

get in TOUCH... Editorial content: 07951 946736 Sales and Marketing: 01473 788546 Events and What’s On: Design & Editing: Designed In house Cover image: Supplied by The New Wolsey Theatre 2

January - February 2017

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Families Suffolk is part of the Families Group established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license. We take every care preparing the magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers, the accuracy of the contents nor for any correspondences.

Our Community

La Tour Cycle Cafe La Tour Cycle Cafe in Ipswich, is a local child friendly cycle themed cafe, which is locally owned by Anna and Cliff Matthews, who are all for supporting sustainable transport, and see cycling as a way of improving lives. About the Cafe

About Cycle Ipswich Bike Buddy Scheme

The café is a haven for parents and children and cyclists of all types. There is a play area for young children, and plenty of cycle parking available outside. It’s a place to relax or work. A place to see the top cyclists race or test your own fitness on the turbo trainer. Children are also encouraged to race around Ipswich ring road for the chance to win their annual trophy.

• Cycle Ipswich is established to improve the experience of cycling in Ipswich and the greater Ipswich area.

La Tour Cycle Cafe is also the base for Cycle Ipswich, a voluntary organisation that campaigns to improve the cycling experience in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

• They are interested in getting more people cycling, more frequently and more safely • They recognise and subscribe to the individual health, social and environmental benefits of choosing cycling as a method of transport • They aim to engage with decision makers to debate, advise, consult and direct improvements to policies

They can help with all of these queries and more, including riding with you on your chosen route to help you become more confident.

If you areinterested in trying cycling as a mode of transport in the Greater Ipswich area but don’t know how to get started, then the Cycle Ipswich Bike Buddy Scheme could be for you.

Get in Touch... If you would like to help with campaigning or get in touch with others in the group please visit their website: For general enquiries you can email or to talk to a real person, please call Kevin on 07887 788972.

You might be after advice on: • Route choices • Bike choices • Luggage options • Bike maintenance tips • Security questions • Cycling during pregnancy • Cycling with children • School run




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Email: Tel: 0845 863 0693 @familiessuffolk



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Baby & Toddler

Getting the best out of your library service Suffolk Libraries can help your child's reading and development in lots of different areas.

Pre-school children All Suffolk libraries run activities for children of all ages, including Bookstart sessions such as baby bounce and tot rock. Babies and toddlers can have their own library card and borrow books for free.

What they stock • chunky board books which are great to feel • picture books • counting books • rhyme books • fairy tales • TV favourites

Helping your baby or toddler to enjoy reading and prepare them for school Your child will enjoy regular access to books, which will help them become a enthusiastic reader. When you read with your child set

aside some quiet time. Sit close, smile and use funny voices. Encourage your child to look carefully at the pictures. Talk about the story: ask them about what they think will happen next and explain the characters’ actions. Reading with your child will improve their attention span and listening skills. This will help them when they learn to read at school. Babies and toddlers feel safe within established routines and rituals. A bedtime story is the perfect end to their day. Recent research shows that babies learn most just before they sleep. Your child will often want to borrow the same book several times. Choosing their own books and showing a preference for a particular story is the beginning of their lifelong journey as a reader.

Find out more To find out more reading ideas and suggestions visit


Bringing books to life at The New Wolsey Birch Farm Nursery Established 1991 – 2016

What better way to help encourage a child’s love of books than to see their favourite characters come to life. One show you will not want to miss this February is Monstersaurus at The New Wolsey Theatre. This brand new show from the creators of Aliens Love Underpants is monster-ously good! Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but he has a problem now he has made them all, what is he going to do with them?!

25 Years

 Full Day Care Nursery & Holiday Club  Varied Sessions from 3hrs to Full day 7:30am - 6:30 pm  Shift patterns may be accommodated (subject to staff ratios & notice of pattern)  Impressive indoor and outdoor facilities  15 hours a week FREE care for 2,3 and 4 yrs (Subject to status)  Extra curricula activities from Jo Jingles/Swimming/Ballet  Ofsted Rated Good For more information contact Mini  01473 652249   Birch Farm Silver Hill Hintlesham Ipswich Suffolk IP8 3NJ


January - February 2017

This energetic show full of thrills, spills, magic and mayhem will delight the whole family – with original music and plenty of audience participation! Suitable for ages 3+

Find out more We are very lucky to have so many fantastic family friendly theatres in Suffolk offering engaging, educational and entertaining productions for all family members from pre-school to senior members of the family. For more info visit our website:

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Family Finance

Expert advice on...

Budgeting & Borrowing The New Year is typically a time when people think about change; resolutions often focus on a healthy lifestyle, sorting out finances or learning a new hobby. Although addressing budgeting and borrowing might lack the excitement of mastering the ukulele, it is likely many of us will have commitments such as a mortgage or be looking to get onto, or move up, the housing ladder.

One size doesn’t fit all

A report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) on the UK mortgage market in 2015 showed there were 11 million mortgaged properties in the UK, with £220 billion borrowed – an increase of 8% from that borrowed in the previous year.

In September 2016 the average total debt per household including mortgages was £55,683

In November, the Money Charity reported the average total debt per household including mortgages was £55,683 in September. Per adult, that is an average debt of £29,770 or around 113.7% of average annual earnings.

When applying for a mortgage or remortgaging it might be best to seek out a lender who understands your circumstances, or use a specialist mortgage broker.

This may be particularly useful if you are not a ‘typical’ or straightforward applicant, and you need an experienced underwriter to look at your case.

Help is at hand... Our own team based in Ipswich has recently been able to help: • Self employed and contractors: we have the expertise to look at accounts and unusual income patterns, and have special products designed for individual circumstances • Older borrowers: who will be up to 85 at their end of their mortgage term • Divorced parents: whose income includes child maintenance supported by CSA or court order with 5 years left to run

Be prepared Don’t forget, when you are enquiring about a mortgage it helps to have your information to hand, so you can give a full picture of your circumstances: • Employment details and payslips. • Details of expenditure, any outstanding credit card balances or loans • Details of the property you wish to buy or remortgage • If self employed, your SA302s or accounts. • Any information about your previous credit history.

• Self builders: looking for flexible stage payments made at key stages of their build.

Find out more about the full range of products and services available at Ipswich Building Society by visiting @familiessuffolk


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Family Advice

When should you leave your child home alone?

Over the past few years there has been huge debate around when children should be left home alone. Knowing when your growing child is responsible enough to be left alone, even for a short time, can be difficult and there is no law that governs when this might be appropriate. For parents, in the absence of any hard and fast rules, knowing when it’s the right time to allow your children more responsibility can be tricky.

What the law says The Government’s advice is to follow NSPCC guidelines, although you are advised never to leave your child alone when they are ‘at risk’ and you may be prosecuted for neglect if you leave an unsupervised child ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.’ The NSPCC guidelines state that babies, toddlers and young children should never, under any circumstances, be left alone and that children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope with an emergency. Therefore they should not be left alone in the house for any length of time. Children under 16 should not be left alone overnight.

Leaving a child alone in the car Children should never be left alone in the car. Stranger danger is an ever present issue for young children - however well you teach them, young children can act quite differently when something tempting is apparently on offer. Leaving a toddler in the car runs the risk of them wandering off into traffic or a busy car park. And no child is safe from the risk of another car crashing into yours, even when your car is stationary.

Leaving your child home alone This is far trickier to navigate as growing children begin to want their independence from their parents. The important thing to remember, in the absence of a clear legal framework, is your child’s wishes. If they simply can’t cope with being left alone then you’ll need to make other arrangements. But when they reach the age of 12, you could experiment with leaving them for a short amount of time. If you do, make sure you’ve thoroughly discussed the kind of behaviour you expect from them - like not boiling a kettle - and that they know exactly what to do if there’s a problem. Take your mobile and make sure they have the number, plus a list of trusted adults to contact if they can’t reach you. If you have more than one child, make sure they’re engaged in a calm activity, like watching TV or doing homework so squabbles and problems are less likely to occur.


January - February 2017

Are they ready to be in charge? Some children actively enjoy showing how grown up they are, but it’s wise to run through a few scenarios to reassure yourself how they might genuinely cope in an emergency. Try asking them what they’d do in a power cut, or if the bathroom flooded. What if they’re hungry or a stranger knocks at the door? Have the conversations for a few minutes at a time, to try and gauge how they’d react. Remember, you don’t have to leave them alone at home if you don’t want to, but sometimes the situation is unavoidable so you’ll need to know how they might cope. By having these conversations, you can work towards a plan of action if you do need to leave your child in the house alone.

Make a checklist If you and your child decide that they’re responsible enough to be left home alone, perhaps after school while you’re still at work, then work together on a checklist that covers both your concerns. • Double check that they’re happy to be left alone: it may be that they’d feel happier if a neighbour looked in on them from time to time. • Set some ground rules: your child may be as worried as you are about the responsibility of being left in charge. • Agree what’s safe and not safe to do: you might be happy for them to visit a friend or have a friend to visit. • Be clear that mentioning you’re home alone on social media is not a cool idea. • Let them know when you’ll be home: leave a number where you can be contacted, and let them know you’ll inform them if you’re delayed in any way. • Check in every now and again: give them a call to check that they’re OK. • Put potentially dangerous objects out of harm’s way before you leave. Knowing when the right time to leave your child alone is never easy, but through planning and good communication you can both enjoy peace of mind.

Public Health

Be Food Smart!

A new campaign that highlights the surprising amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt found in everyday food and drink has been launched to encourage parents to ‘Be Food Smart’. We wouldn’t let our kids eat sugar or salt straight from the sugar bowl or salt shaker but we tend not to think about the sugar, saturated fat and salt in the other things they eat and drink.

Sugar Excess sugar means excess energy, which in turn can lead to stored fat in the body and diseases like heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Eating too much sugar can also cause tooth decay. Around a quarter of the added sugar in kids’ diets comes from sugary drinks. Sugary drinks can easily be swapped to water, lower fat milks, sugar free, diet and no added sugar drinks instead.

Saturated Fat Saturated fat is the ‘bad’ type of fat and the one that we really should watch in our kid’s diets. Fat can build up in our bodies, eventually leading to high blood cholesterol and increasing the chance of developing heart disease. Saturated fat is in things like butter, cheese, biscuits, cakes pastries and fatty meats such as streaky bacon and sausages.

Salt You might think you don’t eat too much salt, especially if you don’t add it to your food, but don’t be too sure. What we don’t realise is that salt is hidden in everyday foods that don’t even taste that salty! Things like bread, breakfast cereal, ready meals, sauces, baked beans and pizza. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which puts you more at risk of getting heart disease or having a stroke. The Public Health England Change4Life ‘Be Food Smart’ campaign encourages children and families to make sensible food and drink swaps to reduce their sugar, saturated fat and salt intake. There is a fantastic website, leaflet and app to help you make swaps for a healthier diet.

Free Support For additional FREE support OneLife Suffolk can help children and their families to understand more about healthy eating and how to build more physical activity into their lives. Call OneLife Suffolk on 01473 718193 or visit the website

Change4Life Be food smart app The Change4Life Be Food Smart app is designed to show quickly and easily how much total sugar, saturated fat and salt is in the food and drinks you’re having: • Download the FREE Change4Life Be Food Smart app from the App Store or Google Play. • Scan the foods in your cupboard, fridge and when you shop. • See the amount of total sugar, saturated fat and salt in everyday food and make healthier choices. • Search ‘Change4Life’ online to find out more about the app, how to make healthy swaps and the right amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt for you and your children.

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RSBP Birdwatch

Count the wildlife that’s counting on you this winter RSPB Birdwatch: 28th - 30th Janury 2017

There are so many simple things we can all do – or not do – to make our gardens a bit more welcoming for wildlife,” says Rupert Masefield. “In the winter, making sure there is food and shelter for wildlife in your garden can really make a difference. Leaving leaves on the ground, creating log piles for hedgehogs to hide in, and have boxes for roosting birds and bats will all be appreciated by the wildlife that lives in your garden – and let’s not forget feeding the birds!

The survey is part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, with aims to tackle the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The Big Garden Birdwatch is just one of the steps you can take to help nature near you. Wherever you live, you can help give nature a home. Find out more at

Making a difference for garden wildlife It’s great fun to do, but the Birdwatch has a serious scientific purpose too. Since it began 37 years ago the Big Garden Birdwatch has provided a snapshot of how the birds and other wildlife using our gardens are doing. Numbers of familiar birds like starlings and song thrushes fell again in the Big Garden Birdwatch last year. Despite being ranked number two in the Big Garden Birdwatch table, the number of starlings visiting people’s gardens has fallen by more than 80 per cent since the first Birdwatch in 1979, and less than half of us saw them in our gardens in East Anglia during the 2016 Birdwatch.

Not just about birds

Over 70,000 East Anglians were among the half a million plus people who counted more than eight-and-a-half million birds in the 2016 Big Garden Birdwatch, and expectations are high that 2017 could be even bigger. In fact, we will have a whole extra day to count the birds and other wildlife in our gardens over the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend at the end of January. In 2017 the world’s largest garden wildlife survey will, for the first time, take place over three days: Saturday 28, Sunday 29 and Monday 30 January.

Ready, set, let your gardens grow! The Big Garden Birdwatch weekend is not until the end of January, but you don’t have to wait until then to start making wildlife welcome in your garden. The more you do now to help birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife through the cold winter months, the more wildlife you will have making a home in your garden, the more you’re likely to see when you do you Big Garden Birdwatch, and the more you’ll be helping nature.


January - February 2017

As well as counting our feathered friends, the RSPB is once again asking us to log some of the other animals we see in our gardens. Grass snakes, hedgehogs, stag beetles, stoats and moles are all on the list of other wildlife the RSPB is keen to know about. Having lost more than half of our hedgehogs in the last 50 years, we know that some of our favourite wildlife is in real trouble. Keeping track of changes in their numbers will be important if we want to help them.

How to take part To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2017, watch the birds in your garden (or local park, or at the office!) for one hour over the weekend. Only count the birds that land in your garden, not those flying over. Tell us the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour. For your free Big Garden Birdwatch pack: Text BIRD to 70030 or visit

Suffolk Fab40

You may recall reading about Suffolks’ Fab 40 Adventures in our Autumn edition - an exciting programme which aims to help inspire families to visit their local park or further afield and explore the amazing world of nature on our doorstep. Suffolk is a beautiful county. Its natural environment and quality of life are much treasured by the people who visit, live and work here.

Over 36% of Suffolk is either nationally or locally designated for its wildlife or landscape quality; and in a recent poll 64% of people said that the countryside and wildlife here are the best things about living in Suffolk.

10 Winter Adventures We just love the 10 Winter Adventures – this seasons activities are all great things to do as family. You can break the ice on a puddle; hunt for treasure on the beach; take an exciting walk in the dark; find the biggest tree in the park or wood; be the first footsteps in the snow (fingers crossed we get some); photograph a frosty morning to share with the world (will grandad’s camera take a better picture than your phone?) Do some basic wood work and build a nest box to put up in the garden; wander the woods and find a carpet of snow drops;

watch a Robin in your garden and dig him up some dinner. Or you can stay indoors and take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch on 28-30 January 2017.

You’ll find everything you need to know to complete the 10 Winter Adventures from building instructions to top tips on wild places to go and how to get the most from your visit at

In households where adults were frequent visitors, 82% of children followed their lead. In households where the adults rarely or never visited the natural environment, the proportion of children visiting fell to 39%. And this is what Suffolk’s Fab 40 Adventures is all about. It’s about encouraging children, with their carers, parents or grandparents to get outdoors and activate and to truly experience what Suffolk has to offer.

Adults Influence It’s the enthusiasm of adults for our green spaces which strongly influences whether our children visit the natural environments around them.

Find out more about Suffolk’s Fab 40 Adventures Visit: @suffolkfab40 #40adventures



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Clubs & Classes

in g r u t r u Families Interview with Gareth ividu in a n dHuxtable, n i Scout Leader udd P e h t e p d e n n i dent g’s nt ia h c a e h T t ming from b m i w e p d e n n i s d g e n n i t ch

The image of kids spending lots of time outdoors, getting heaps of fresh air and exercise while learning life skills as they go seems quaintly nostalgic now. There is, however, a great British institution that still promotes and encourages those values, while vironme nlike IT skills g en the realities of twenty-first-century living, rinincorporating y t PR. We spoke to Gareth, a former scout aand al l ilScout u oLeader, id reabout iv ndand Scouting and what it can offer to today’s youngsters.

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Puddle Ducks dif e First of all Gareth, how has Scouting changed in the twenty years you’ve been involved? The fact that a major celebrity and world-class adventurer, Bear Grylls, is now the Chief Scout, speaks volumes. His many remarkable achievements are an inspiration to the boys and girls, and he has definitely made scouting cool. We now go right the way through from age 6 to 25 and offer a huge range of activities. The uniform has been updated and is really practical, modern and comfortable for both sexes.

Tell us more about the activities It’s still based on the model of working towards Proficiency badges, which has been proven to be a great system for application and reward. There is something for everyone to work towards and achieve. We’ve got the old favourites like map reading and first aid, but also mechanics, abseiling, photography and entertaining. You name it, really. There is always a topic that will appeal. Going on from there we have the personal development awards, Chief Scout and Queen Scout that are similar to the Duke of Edinburgh awards and impressive for CVs. As well as physical challenges and new skills, these top awards require commitment to a charity, and the Queen herself does the presentation. Quite an honour!

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t: 01473 356222 t: 01473 356222 Do you still go away on camps? Oh yes. Camps and nights away are a t: big part of the scouting 0147 experience and they are open to the boys and girls of all ages. It’s a great chance for them to learn some independence and to fit in living


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January - February 2017

Introduce a friend to our parent and toddler play sessions and get your session for FREE. Check website for times and full offer T&C’s 01473 433676 • •

Clubs & Classes and working alongside others. As they get older, the camps get more adventurous and we do overseas expeditions as well. This way we meet up with scouts from other countries, which is a brilliant chance to make new friends, have fun and see that they are a part of something bigger.

Does it cost a lot to become a scout? I’d say it’s surprisingly cheap compared to a lot of other children’s activities. We have an annual subscription charge, and that varies a bit depending on where in the country you are, but the average is somewhere between £50 and £100. That doesn’t include things like camps, as obviously there are extra costs involved in transport, food and accommodation for trips away. The only other outlay is for the uniform, but there is no need to buy all brand-new kit. There is a thriving second-hand market in scouting gear, and the Scouting Association itself can help out for families that struggle with the costs.

What’s the best thing about scouting? That’s a hard question! There are so many benefits. Most of all, it’s good fun. It’s also good to get kids outdoors, get them muddy, and, at the same time, they are learning behaviours and skills that are setting them up for life. It’s win-win really. They make new friends, they have adventures, and they push themselves. I think the fact that we currently have over 450,000 member’s shows that the movement is more popular than ever and is providing a lot of opportunity for young people. Membership is growing, so that proves that the scouts are enjoying themselves and that’s not bad for an organisation that’s over a hundred years old, but still meeting the needs of today’s kids.

A hundred years old? Yes, we’ve hit our centenary year and there’s been a lot to celebrate. We formed Cub100 to commemorate 100 years of Cub scouting and have held events all over the country. We’re actually the largest mixed

youth organisation in the UK today. Not bad for a movement that was established in 1907. I think it shows we have really moved with the times and are providing a valuable outlet for our members. The transformation in the last fifteen years has been quite remarkable. That translates to thousands of kids all over the UK getting involved in masses of different activities every week. And that’s not including the camps and trips.

So it’s not all about woggles and knots anymore? We still have a woggle but, as I said before, the uniform is very modern these days. It’s all part of the re-brand to keep us relevant in the twenty-first century. Anyone, boy or girl, can join as a Beaver when they are six and carry right on through Cubs, Scouts and Explorers to the Scout Network for 18-25 years old. Scouting is very inclusive and I really can’t recommend it enough. For more information about scouting and other clubs visit:



01473 788546


Clubs & Classes

Clubs & Classes Reviews The New Year is often a time when parents start thinking about enrolling their children in new clubs & classes. We have interviewed one of our readers to find out more about the horse riding classes her daughter attends.

Hill Farm Equestrian Centre Your name: Charlotte Downing Your child's name and age: Amelia Downing, 9 yrs Any siblings name and age: Isabelle Downing, 5 yrs What made you choose riding lessons at Hill Farm classes? Recommendation. I also liked the relaxed atmosphere and the quality of teaching. What were you hoping to gain for your child by them attending these lessons? When my oldest child started at Hill Farm she was only 4 yrs and had been riding since she was 18 months of age. So the main aim was to give her the opportunity to learn how to ride and to build on the experiences she already had. Do you feel you have achieved this? Yes definitely. Hill Farm has enabled her to develop her riding skills and gain in confidence. She now rides to a very good standard, and has the opportunity to go to shows both in-house and away from the centre, ride a variety of ponies all of which give her different experiences and generally has an excellent time in everything that she does there! How often and how long are the lessons? One hour, twice a week. She also participates in clubs which involve stable management and helps out at the yard all day on a Saturday. Were the lessons good value for money? Yes very. Lessons are taught only by fully qualified riding instructors all of which have experience in teaching children/ young people to ride. What did/does your child enjoy most about their time spent at Hill Farm ? My eldest daughter loves to ride! But she also gains a huge amount from the overall experiences that Hill Farm provides including making friendships with children of similar ages and developing her skills and knowledge in both riding and general pony and horse care. My youngest daughter is also following in her footsteps and loves to ride and take part in the shows. What do you feel have been the biggest benefits of attending these riding lessons? The general overall experience of living and breathing ponies and horses and the quality of the teaching. In addition, the peer support and making friendships with children of a similar age who share the love of the equestrian world! It is also a very ‘family friendly’ place and allows families to enjoy experiences together taking part in pony care, shows and maybe even learning to ride/get back into the saddle if parents’ want to! What advise would you give to anyone considering booking riding lessons for their family? Go to Hill Farm Equestrian Centre! You will not regret it, it is a wonderful place and will offer your child/family with opportunities and experiences that go beyond just learning to ride. It is excellent value for money and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

For more information visit:

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January - February 2017


Active Winter

Sponsored by Ipswich Borough Council

Active Winter

Getting fit and losing weight are the two most popular New Year’s resolutions in the UK. So why do we start January with the best of intentions and end it in frustration and disappointment? Here Daniella Lord, Fitness and Sports Team Leader from Ipswich Borough Council explains why “a little goes a long way” is the best attitude to take. Around one third of New Year’s resolutions are about losing weight and about 20% are about kick-staring a new exercise regime.

Stick with it Here are my top tips to keep you focused:

But sadly around 95% of us fail to stick with the programme. So how can you make your New Year’s resolution achievable this year?

A little goes a long way Taking small steps is the best way to meet long-term goals. So instead of saying you want to lose three stone by next Christmas, try opting for 2lbs a week. And instead of wishing for a six-pack by summer, plan to work out for an hour twice a week or 15 minutes a day and build yourself up gradually.

Plan it out TThe most successful New Year’s resolutions involve

• Don’t make a resolution on a whim

comprehensive planning. And the first thing you should do is consider when and how you will exercise. Ipswich Borough Council’s all-inclusive iCard membership gives you to access the council’s sports facilities across Ipswich including four sports centres, two swimming pools and a gym based on Ipswich Waterfront. This means you have a variety of venues to visit and a wide selection of activities to get involved in.

Keep it fun The vast array of options to keep your routine interesting include swimming, fitness classes, racquet sports and access to personal trainers. Additional benefits include the use of the sauna and steam rooms and free crèche places for young children

Find out more More details about iCard membership can be found at:



• Share your goals with friends and family who can be there to support you. • Celebrate your successes by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. Like a session in our sauna! • Don’t obsess - do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time. • Be patient - experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit. • Don’t give up!

Good luck and Happy New Year!

01473 788546


Parents Place

Mum and Dad in business

Your names: Stacy & Richard Foster Name, location and nature of your business: Glass & Craft, Kersey Mill. Family Craft Studios & Gift Shop How long has your business been running and the reason why you started your own business? After running a successful hand painted glassware business since 2010 we found ourselves wanting to expand into other avenues. With more orders coming in, it was becoming hard to meet the demand and then one day we thought how much fun would it be if the customers could paint their own glassware. The idea of our glass painting workshop, Glass & Craft, was born! Glass & Craft opened its doors to families and keen crafters in June 2014. We started Glass & Craft solely as a glass painting studio and rented out a few shelves for local crafters to display and sell their items. We soon introduced other crafts such as ceramic painting &


January - February 2017

decopatch to offer our customers a variety of craft activities. We were also flooded with enquires from local craft makers who were looking to rent shelf space from us. So in September 2014 we extended into a larger unit within Kersey Mill to give us more space. We now have 2 main craft studios where we are able to seat up to 30 people at any one time and now have 7 different creative crafts to choose from. Our most recent introduction is “Teddy Crafting” where customers can stuff their very own teddy bear. Our shelf rental scheme has also grown extensively and we now have 38 fabulous local craft makers who sell with us. We are also becoming wellknown as a venue for our creative children’s craft parties as we can provide several exciting packages which suits all ages. What do you enjoy about running your own business? Although it can be a bit stressful at times, we

really get a buzz when it is busy and we have lots of families using the craft studios. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. We also enjoy coming up with new ideas and crafts for the shop. We have 2 children; William who is 7 & Jasmine who is 5. They love the fact that we use them as guinea-pigs to put all the new crafts on trial before we bring them in to the studios. We also love the children’s craft parties. They are always good fun and are very popular now, with one nearly every weekend. How do you fit your business around family life? During a normal week day the shop only requires one of us to be there. As the shop opens at 10am we are both around for the children in the morning which works out great. Weekends can be a bit trickier but we have some fantastic support from family. During the School holidays both William & Jasmine often come over to the shop to help out. They just love ‘playing shop’! What advice would you give to any parents considering starting up their own business? Starting your own business can seem a bit daunting but we are really pleased that we made that brave step. We believe that it is really important to have a business that you enjoy and that is going to work for the whole family. It must fit with being a mum and dad as well as a business couple. To find out more visit:

COMPETITION Visit our website: for the chance to win a family ticket for the following shows at The New Wolsey Theatre this February Half Term


The Bear

King Arthur

Sky in the Pie

Suffolk Fire & Rescue

WANTED: On-Call Firefighters

On-call Firefighter Employer Guide

On-call firefighters are a vital part of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. They provide an efficient, effective service that gives emergency cover across the country. In Suffolk, on-call firefighters make up 66% of the workforce and are generally located in rural communities, small towns and villages.


As part of Suffolk County Council’s Fire & Rescue Service recruitment initiative, they have just launched an On - Call Firefighter guide for employers.

Benefits to your oganisation

The guide will give local emplyers an insight into the role of an on-call firefighter, what it involves to employ an on-call firefighter and the benefits it could have to your organisation.

A vital part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service There are 35 fire stations across Suffolk made up of four whole-time stations, 29 on-call stations and two, day crewed stations.

Many on-call firefighters are in full time employment with local employers who are keen to support their community. They are just like any other employee, accept that they may be on standby for some of their working hours. The new employer guide will give an insight into the role of an on-call firefighter and the benefits and impact of employing an on-call firefighter. Releasing an employee to become an on-call firefighter is a big decision and it could not happen without the employers agreement. Suffolk Fire & Rescue rely on the partnerships they build with local employers and aim to ensure everyone is fully aware of the commitment prior to them agreeing to release the member of staff.

Who are on-call firefighters?

On-call firefighters are ordinary men and women from all walks of life, but they do an extraordinary job for the Fire & Rescue Service and are integral to protecting the local community. On-call firefighters live or work within five to ten minutes of their allocated fire station and are fully trained firefighters who are called into service when they are needed rather than staffing the fire stations on a full time basis. They are contracted to work certain hours based on their availability, during which, they keep a pager with them. It is up to the on-call firefighter to agree the hours they are available with their primary employer.

On-call firefighters are highly trained professionals who can bring added value to your business. They gain many transferable skills with the Fire and Rescue Service which can be used in any workplace

Emergency skills

Firefighters are qualified in advanced first aid and trauma care, clinically governed and accredited. This will help to keep other employees safe but also contribute to legal obligations for first aid cover.

Large Goods Vehicle training

Many firefighters are trained to drive fire engines, which includes obtaining a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence. They also receive Emergency Response Driving training; this is similar to an advanced driving test in that it raises their awareness of road conditions.

Health and Safety training

Risk assessments and hazards are all part of the training for firefighters so they can support Health and Safety Officers in meeting their obligations and improve the safety of staff.

Manual handling training

Firefighters are trained by a recognised instructor in the correct procedures to be adopted when lifting or moving items. The training involves learning simple techniques that could prevent injuries occurring, reducing the risk of time lost at work through injury.

Personal skills

On-call firefighters are highly motivated people who are committed to the community they serve. This means they are more likely to be dedicated and long serving members of staff. They learn to work well in a team, to think quickly, take responsibility and use their initiative. They are also able to communicate quickly and keep calm in a crisis. In addition, employing an on-call firefighter could improve the reputation of your business as companies releasing staff gain local recognition and respect within their community.


If you would like to find out more about becoming an employer of an on-call firefighter, contact the service’s On-Call Liaison Officer on 07776 475069. He/she will be able to discuss this with you in further depth, and will be able to advise you on the members of staff in your organisation that would be most suitable for the role. @familiessuffolk


01473 788546


We offer you a range of family law services We all need help from time to time. Our friendly and approachable solicitors are on hand to advise you on a host of family law services: · Family breakdown - helping to achieve financial security for you · Children - support and expert advice on arrangements for children · Mediation - discussing the issues that matter to you

FREE initial consultation

Call 01473 611211 41 Barrack Sq, Martlesham, Ipswich IP5 3RF Free parking Jump Street Fitness Advert 180x130mm PRINT.pdf












Families Suffolk January - February 2017 Issue 33  

The free local magazine containing useful information for parents of 0-12 year olds in Suffolk.

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